Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick (represented by UTC student Kristyn Mayberry) spoke passionately on behalf of her constituents in the Thirteenth District of Michigan by saying she would vote for a health care bill that supports all US citizens. She said health care for all “is not a Republican or Democratic issue. This is an American issue.”
Students in Dr. Bob Swansbrough’s UTC American Government class in Political Science assumed roles in the Simulated House of Representatives (111th Congress, 1st Session). Forty students were assigned to represent actual Members of Congress as they debated House Resolution 3200 titled, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.”
Many of the students who portrayed Republican congressmen and congresswomen said the cost of the Obama health care plan was too high.
The students dressed in business attire for the debate.
Swansbrough said the students researched their assigned congressman/woman, and they wrote a Member Profile to understand the constituent and electoral pressures they face. Each student debated and voted on the bill, which failed in this class 19-14. Swansbrough explained that the students who represented Republicans voted along party lines, but some students who portrayed Democrats voted
“This process helped me learn more about government and the way Congress works,” said freshman Paige Odom. Odom said it has been fun preparing for the class, a required general education class she needed for her major. Odom wants to become an elementary school teacher.
Students debated specific sections of H.R.3200, including the prohibition on coverage excluding preexisting conditions; providing for guaranteed coverage to all individuals and employers; prohibition on essential benefits packs from imposing any annual or lifetime coverage limits; establishing the Health Insurance Exchange within the Health Choices Administration to provide individuals and employers access to health insurance coverage choices, including a public health insurance option; providing for an affordability premium credit and an affordability cost-sharing credit for low-income individuals and families participating in the Exchange; amending Title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act to expand Medicaid eligibility for low-income individuals and families.